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Re: Possible GPL violation?


From: Bernd Jendrissek
Subject: Re: Possible GPL violation?
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 14:03:48 +0200

On Thu, Aug 29, 2002 at 06:24:58AM -0400, Robert Dewar wrote:
> <<Previous attention by the FSF police notwithstanding, XYZZY Inc. is not
> obliged to give you the source if it didn't already give you binaries.  I.e.
> the GPL does not *require* you to distribute to anyone.  Just that when you
> do, it specifies how and how much.
> >>
> 
> This is incorrect. If you opt for the written offer to supply the sources,
> as this company apparently has, then the following applies from the GPL:
> 
>     b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three
>     years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your
>     cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete
>     machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be
>     distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
>     customarily used for software interchange; or,
> 
> Note the "any third party" here. 

Thanks for whacking me with the clue-by-four.  Next time, I'll RTFL before
I make claims, *in spite* of thinking I know it by heart.  I could have
sworn that last time I read 3b it was "to supply" instead of "to give any
third party".  Amazing how fuzzy my memory is...

> Please read the GPL before making claims about it. The reason incidentally

Hey, everyone else makes claims without checking the facts!  :)  Yes, a
real problem of misinformation: it feeds on itself, as I just demonstrated.

> for the "any third party" here is to make it reasonably easy to do further
> distributions. This means you can send the objects to someone along with
> a copy of the original written offer rather than forcing you to excercise
> the written offer before redistributing.
> 
> The GPL is quite clear about this:
> 
>     c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer
>     to distribute corresponding source code.  (This alternative is
>     allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you
                       ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BTW what exactly is "noncommercial distribution" here?

>     received the program in object code or executable form with such
>     an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)
> 
> 
> Now if you take alternative a)
> 
>     a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
>     source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections
>     1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
> 
> Then indeed you have no obligation to third parties.

As punishment, I'll dig up a couple links.

GPL and NDAs: I was thinking of this thread while lying about the GPL
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=%22gpl+%2Band+ndas%22&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=386E890B.1B191CB%40gmx.de&rnum=1

What IS the Amiga SDK: It seems this has been argued before
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=gpl+%22any+third+party%22&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=cerkksk0vahd3vabslgc7a9oa35tuqpbqp%404ax.com&rnum=1

How not to follow the GNU GPL: Much closer to this thread
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=gpl+obligation+third&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=6ki98e%24dq%241%40jaka.ece.uiuc.edu&rnum=5

Zaphod Beeblebrox.  I'd like my $10 now, please.

bernd

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